Experimenting…


Well, I’m still working my way through a series of paintings on the sea. To move things along a bit, I decided to have a play with some different materials and techniques.

I’ve had a play with glazes, dry brushing watercolours, scratching back into the paint, rubbing the paint on with a cloth…

I’ve also been experimenting with how realistic an image needs to be before we “read” it as being the sea. I suspect the answer is “not very”!! Our minds are quite happy to go – oh yeah, that looks like the sea.

I had hoped to paint from real life at the beach over the weekend, but it was so hot I couldn’t stand to leave the house. So I paid the bills, finished the paper we publish, chatted to Mum … and painted, painted, painted…

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Water, water everywhere.

I’m still obsessively painting my way through a series of work based on my memories of the sea and sunsets.

Over the last week I’ve played with oil pastels, watercolour, alkyd oils, and acrylics. I’ve worked on pastel paper, white paper, black paper, cardboard…

I particularly like this one, based on my recollection of the tide coming in around the rocks at Mana Bay, Patea.

Today my main excitement was having to wash the kitten’s feet after she landed right in the middle of a very wet painting of the sea and then tried to run off with bright blue feet!! Luckily it was water based paint … but she certainly didn’t enjoy being dumped feet first in a basin of cold water!

Looking in the mirror…


Really looking in the mirror can be a pretty scarey thing – so much of the time we unconsciously prepare ourselves before we look. We get the angle right, run our hand through our hair, perhaps tilt our head a particular way.

But take all that away, and just look – at the colours, shadows, lines, shapes – and you start to see something quite different.

A bit less familiar, and a whole lot less flattering.

I’ve done a series of self portraits over the last week and I have to say this is the only one I’m prepared to put “out there” on publc view! Gives you an idea of what the others are like huh?

A revelation!


I had a revelation – I was reading an article in Artist’s Palette called “Creating Memories” about Aussie artist Petrea Fellows.

She works mainly in charcoal, ink and some watercolour to create works based on her recollections of landscapes. Many border on abstraction and she says she “interprets the landscape through memory”.

I’ve been fascinated for ages now by the sky, especially at dusk, and the way it is changing as our weather alters. Mum and I both feel we are seeing new colours and cloud formations we never used to see. I think these are warnings in the sky about what is happening to our planet.

But I hadn’t been able to make a connection between these feelings and my art. And now I have. Ever since I read the article, I’ve been using all kinds of media to put down my recollections of the evening sky as it is now, and as I remember it from the past – without feeling I have to make it “real”. It is *very* exciting and really liberating…

I’ve even been painting…


I’ve had a few days off over the Christmas break and have been painting non-stop for a couple of days now. I’ve mainly been tackling landscapes, working from a series of photos I took recently of the Patea / Waverley coastline.

When I first started the art course with TLC I had a real passion for painting people but this year have concentrated on other themes. I have a real desire to get back to some faces … so yesterday out came the photos.

I have been working on painting my husband, Tony, at this stage because his face is so familiar. So far I have painted the same photo twice, both in watercolour.

Now I’m going to move on and try the same pose in a variety of different media.I really like working this way because as I get more familiar with the shapes and lines my art gets freer and more expressive somehow.

Adopted by a bundle of inspiration!


Between Christmas and New Year a 7 week old bundle of fur and claws turned up, seriously hungry, at our house. Of course we sent it packing!


Okay, no we didn’t – we fed it, cuddled it, took it to the vet, welcomed it onto our bed…


Goldie has only been with us four days and already I’ve taken more than 80 photos and starting turning some of them into watercolours – I love the way her fur colour contrasts against the lawn when she is playing outside.